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and in the end, we're projecting the brackets as king abdullah. he's got all the oil and us on his side so ehe's likely to win. there you have it, thanks for watching, everybody. follow my online. and right now, "hardball" is next. who's in charge now? let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chuck todd in washington in tonight for chris matthews. leading off -- now what? there are so many unanswered questions now that nato is preparing to take over the military campaign against is gadhafi in libya. how big of a role will the u.s.
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play now? are we still in charge? and with war fatigue setting in and criticism from both sides of the aisle, when does the president fully explain what's perhaps, monday or tuesday of next week. plus, fear of spreading terrorism. there were anti-government demonstrations today and in some cases violence in many arab countries, including yemen. thousands turned out calling for the ouster of a u.s. ally. if the president is overthrown, who stops al qaeda in the arabian peninsula from taking over? and there are increasing concerns of spreading radiation from the crippled power plant in japan with even more people now being encouraged to get out of the area, but not ordered. how great is that danger? plus, a little politics with hispanics now making up one of our every six americans and one out of every four children, by the way, how long can republicans be seen as hostile to their interests? the huge implications of the
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census report on the 2012 presidential election. and finally, what's the more serious candidates to do? how does anyone who actually believes they have a chance of winning the republican nomination get heard if people like michele bauchmann, sarah pay lip and yes, our friend in new york, donald trump, are taking up all the oxygen. we start with what's next on the libyan front. nbc chief foreign correspondent richard engel is in benghazi after a heralding couple of days. what happened today on the ground in libya that you've seen? >> reporter: today we went out of benghazi. and instead of going to the rebel frontline about 100 miles south of here, we went to the frontline and then went around it. and we were able to get inside the city of ajdabiya. it's partially held by the rebels themselves. there is street-to-street fighting in the city. in a way, this is progress, the rebels would not have been able to get this far if gadhafi's forces hadn't been significantly weakened by the western air
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strikes. there's new video today of british air strikes on gadhafi's tanks just outside of ajdabiya. so the western and now nato or, i guess, u.s. offensive against gadhafi's army is making an impact on the ground, but it is not very quick moving. the rebels are in the city, they are fighting, but street-to-street fighting takes a long time, chuck. >> what's unclear now, who makes up the opposition? who is the leader of the opposition? there's going to be some representative in london, i'm told, over the weekend in this conference with nato. but also some representatives of the opposition at an african union meeting where supposedly gadhafi was going to send representatives. what can you tell me about that? >> the rebel leaders we've spoken to and these are both on the political side and on the military side. the military side aren't involved in any of these discussions. there is a political leadership,
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and they're very weary of entering into any kind of dialogue or negotiations with gadhafi. they simply don't trust gadhafi. they think anything he's offering could be a trick, something used against them. gadhafi was offering to send 2,000 people here to benghazi as a peace offering carrying literally olive branchs. and the people of benghazi says we don't want them in the city, don't want them near the city because who knows what they might do. so there is an opposition. they would much rather talk to nato, much rather talk directly to france, europe, the united states and not to gadhafi directly because they don't trust his motives. >> i want to talk to you about two other countries where things heated up. one, yemen, we've been tracking for a while. but i want to talk to you about syria because a few days ago when we hear about these protests in syria, i had some people say, you know what? this is a regime that knows how to crack down in brutal ways. this won't be a serious
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uprising. and yet today, reports were this was a pretty serious uprising. >> people used to say the same thing about egypt. oh, it could never happen because the egyptian security forces are so good. there are a lot of parallels between egypt and syria. and i've always thought that syria was conspicuously quiet in all of this. syria has a regime that is very similar to egypt's, perhaps more tightly controlling. a one-family dynasty that the son isn't nearly as possible or as charismatic, or brutal as the father. people don't feel they have political rights and political freedoms. they have an educated population, an urbanized population. and these are all the symptoms that have proven to be so explosive and successful in arab revolutions. educated people, no expression, urbanized population, family dynasty going back decades. then syria has all of those characteristics. and there are indications it will continue to spread in
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syria. >> explain the game. i had somebody say to me, if syria as important as egypt was in creating this potential for a domino effect, somebody argued to me that syria would be a bigger deal than egypt. explain what you think that person meant to me by that? >> different dynamics. egypt is an enormous arab country. in many ways, it is the symbol, the capital of the arab world, the arab league is there. everyone around the region watches egyptian movies. everyone speaks or is familiar with the egyptian dialect of arabic. so what happens in egypt so goes the rest of the region. syria is strategic for many reasons. it is the channel for weapons into lebanon for hezbollah, it is a bridge to iran. it is -- it has traditionally been an enemy of israel. so the -- the dynamic -- i guess you could call it the
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arab/israeli dynamic is much more impacted by the events in syria. and it wouldn't -- i would also watch the connections between syria and hezbollah and syria and hamas. and there are many senior hamas leaders who live in syria. and you could -- it wouldn't be surprising to see an uprising or more activity from hamas, more activity in gaza, or explosions in israel itself to try and deflect some of the pressure off of the syrian regime. so it's strategic because of those kind of relations. egypt is strategic because it is just the homeland, the home address of the arab world. >> richard engel, our chief foreign correspondent in benghazi. i wish we could clone you sometime. i would like to have you in damascus as well helping us out. >> i would like to be there.
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i can't believe the region. it's unbelievable. i've never seen it like this. >> unbelievable, and you're doing great work. thank you. white house press secretary jay carney announced today that president obama will address the country on the status of the military in libya. but we're going to talk about the political implications and why he's doing that. we're going to turn to our msnbc political analyst in the's managing editor. chris, the political problem that is facing this white house regarding libya is something that seemed to catch them a little bit offguard. >> it did. which is kind of strange in that they know -- it's not as though they think congress is particularly friendly to them. they know the republicans seem to control congress. now the partisan dealings of these sorts of foreign involvements are different than domestic. economy, health care, we know where everyone's going to shake out there, but there was this bipartisan resistance. you had jim web, a democrat from virginia, dick lugar from indiana. and it's both the bipartisan nature of the resistance as well as kind of the, whatever word used -- anger, that's probably
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not the word that john boehner would use, did you that letter he wrote to president obama, he was clearly miffed at not being consulted enough, want more information. these are things the president does not want to hear. >> where did the white house miss the signal? could it be when they saw john kerry and john mccain on the same side of this calling for the no-fly zone that they said to themselves, okay, we've got congress covered, we've got to deal with this trip, figure out how to get more arab nations. they had a lot of fires going on. and they thought, mccain and kerry, there's our cover, congress, box check. >> you stole my box check metaphor. that's it. a lot goes into this at any time, forget when you're about to leave for latin america on a trip that's been long scheduled.
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i'm sure they did due diligence, but they certainly did some diligence in congress in terms of mccain and kerry. the hard thing is, congress is a tough beast to predict. you were on the trip, i think things got a little bit away from them. and it's very difficult for the president to control message when he's in a foreign country. it's just very -- it's hard -- the perception is hard. it's hard for him to give a big speech about another country when he's in latin america. i think your point about a speech early next week, i've heard the same thing monday and tuesday. the goal being wrap this up. you know, it's the old good morning, good afternoon, good night. the three strikes rule. why we got in, what we did, and why we're out. that's the goal -- >> and it's already worked. >> and the question is, will they be able to say it's already worked? >> today the president briefed the relevant members of congress. the leadership, heads of the key committees, and we'll obviously find out in the next 48 hours how well that briefing went. >> it's the first time the president has updated members. congress has been on recess. we do know that gates and clinton will go to the hill to testify. we assume we'll have presidential remarks. but i want to throw in one other thing here. have they underestimated war fatigue?
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the abc/washington post poll, boy, was just a stinging reminder of afghanistan. >> lowest numbers ever for our poll in afghanistan last week. we were talking about this earlier. i think a lot of what you see here in the post vietnam era, there is no patience for foreign involvement with the united states unless it's gulf war one. it begins in late january, ends in late february, we're out. the obama administration is hoping they can do that with libya. the problem -- >> not even a week. >> you know this better than i, though, when you're in a foreign country, entangled with a coalition of people, it is not so easy to say we're out, we won, walk away. ask george w. bush about mission accomplished. we know how that turned out. >> all right. thanks very much. coming up, what do we know about moammar gadhafi? will he fight or flee? and who are the rebels that the no-fly zone is essentially helping out? big questions. we're going to get some answers from the former libyan ambassador to the united states
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who broke with the gadhafi regime early on. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. lord of the carry-on. sovereign of the security line. you never take an upgrade for granted. and you rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle. and go. you can even take a full-size or above. and still pay the mid-size price. i deserve this. [ male announcer ] you do, business pro. you do. go national. go like a pro. s it hit helps the lhe of companipanies like the she smallestt ofof th ththat lets yos your employeloy, pa and custcustomersvate and sharee so you can can unleash tsh the of your mor your peopleople.
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well, the world is giving high marks to america's leaders. check this out, according to a new gallup poll, u.s. leaders are doing better job tn those inth wld pows. 47% peoplinorth 1 uniesay th arod e b performae "eran ads"ers % o sarod. germany finished second followed by france, japan, uk, and china. russia was the only country on the list whose leaders were upside down on approval. 27% versus 31%. historical note, back in 2008, before president obama took office, the united states was in sixth place. we'll be right back. doubtful, you love me. hey, you can't take allegra with fruit juice. what? yeah, it's on the label. really? here, there's nothing about juice on the zyrtec® label. what? labels are meant to be read. i'd be lost without you. i knew you weren't allergic to me.
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welcome back to "hardball." what do we really know about the rebels who are taking on colonel gadhafi? in the past, rebels we've supported one day have become our enemies the next. think afghanistan.
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one person who knows all about is now supporting the opposition. mr. ambassador, welcome. so let me ask you, who is the opposition? tell us who they are, and should the united states who has stopped short of recognizing them recognize them as the official leadership of libya. >> well, the opposition, they are the ordinary libyan who raise against the regime. they are doctors, professors, students, they are lawyers, they are normal people in libya who have been suffering for the last 42 years. then they are not al qaeda. what the regime tried to describe them. if there's al qaeda, then the regime is responsible for them being in the country. but the libyan people raised against the regime peacefully, and unfortunately they're being killed. for example, the chair of the
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council, he was the former justice minister. he's very known in libya. he's a very capable man, he's very decent man. and a professor, he's working in the gulf area in the gulf countries. and he'd been brought by georgi gadhafi to reform libya. >> you said in a former interview that you did not belief gadhafi would flee, that he would die on libyan soil. that he didn't want to face the threat of the courts. is there no safe haven in the world that he could flee to? >> it's not the matter of a safe haven, i think it's gadhafi's mentality. he believes until now that the people likes him. >> he really thought the people supported him? >> that's what he believed. >> he really believed it? >> that's what he believed. he's living in a different world, i believe.
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he lost touch with reality. libyan people offered him a safe exit. but until now, we dot e anhi pite. i have here like many other that maybe there's a chance for him to negotiate and president sarkozy of france, he mentioned something that britain and france are working for a peaceful solution. that's what we want. the libyan people want to get rid of him. because if he's there, there's nobody secured. the problem is not the army, the problem is gadhafi. if you want to save the libyan civilian -- >> you believe if you cut off -- in this case, if you cut off the head, if gadhafi goes, all of his troops, either the ones that are libyan join the opposition and the ones that aren't, they disappear? >> of course. as far as gadhafi, there's a danger there, if gadhafi is removed, we'll be able to get together again. >> this is not about a regime? this is one person? >> one person, and the close alliance to him who use them,
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killers to kill libyan people inside libya and outside libya. and not only libyan people are victims, western are victims too. you see the terrorist action in germany and britain and many different places. >> i want to play you something that secretary clinton said last night about nato. and i want to get your response to it. here's what she said. >> in the days ahead as nato assumes command and control responsibilities, the welfare of those civilians will be of paramount concern. this operation has already saved many lives, but the danger is far from over. as long as the gadhafi regime threatens its people and defies the united nations, we must remain vigilant and focused. >> this operation specifically does not target gadhafi, should it? >> well, i think if this operation is targeted by gadhafi forces, then the libyan people know how to deal with gadhafi --
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>> you believe the libyan people can handle gadhafi? >> of course. >> as long as they have the protective military cover? >> that's right. because the force is not equal. gadhafi has professional soldiers, the latest technology. the people are forced to fight him, they have the traditional weapons. and even the range of weapons is completely different. how can they fight? they need the help of the international community. and this is a historical chance to get rid of this man. he has no place on the earth as far as we are concerned. and the libyan people will not go back, they will not negotiate. there is no negotiation, only for safe exit for him if he wants to go. otherwise, if the world leaves gadhafi in power, leave him behind, believe me, the western countries will suffer more than the libyans. because he's a man of revenge. he will never forgive. >> ambassador, thank you for coming in. my best to you and your family. >> thank you, i appreciate it. >> and now from libya to yemen
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where anti-government protests continue despite the president announcing he will step down if the government is left to what he calls trustful hands. what's next for that country and the threat that al qaeda in the arabian peninsula poses there? we're joined by a terrorist analyst. evan, i've got to ask you, if saleh goes, who replaces him? and what does that mean for the u.s. counterterrorism operations that take place in yemen, frankly every day? >> well, there is a very optimistic way of looking at this that, well, eventually this might lead to pro democracy movements and a democratic government. right now the major opposition is being led by a guy who is known to be sympathetic to islamist movements, known to be associated with the people who formed the islamic army, which was the precursor to al qaeda in yemen. and he's someone that i don't think we can necessarily count on in order to really be aggressive against aqap. the reality is right now in
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yemen, large parts of yemen are out of the control of yemeni security forces. including key areas that aqap is inhabiting. as far as we understand it, there may be actually area where is petroleum production has been entirely shut down. so i -- right now the picture is very negative. it's very pessimistic. and we've got to -- you've got to wonder what's going to happen next. who is going to follow? >> tell me this, so if the american government who obviously has a relationship with saleh, enough so that they feel they're able to deal with the roughest parts of aqap, if the u.s. government doesn't look like it's fully behind a reform movement, doesn't that potentially radicalize aqap even more and give them new recruits among people that want him saleh to go? >> yeah, i think that's an obvious point. the idea that, look, if the
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yemeni people don't have a democratic outlook for their sentiments, they might turn to al qaeda. the problem is yemen is not kansas, not texas, and it's not egypt either. yemen is a complicated country that is torn apart by a number of different fissures. there's rifts between the tribes, north and south yemen. it isn't as simple as democracy and autocracy. and i don't think that simply removi removing ali abdullah saleh that you're going to simply immediately transition into a democratic government. i think as attractive as that sounds, i think that's terribly naive. >> well, there's reality and there's what the u.s. wishes it could have there, so the reality is it's going to be dealing with some group of leaders in the coming months in yemen. that seems pretty obvious. how do you do that? how does it complicate this counterinsurgency?
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>> look, the u.s. is launching drone strikes in yemen right now. we're trying to pursue american operatives over there and other western operators. we know the aqap right now is planning operations targeting the continental united states. if we have a regime less friendly and less cooperative, this is exactly what happened in 2000 after the cole bombing and that's exactly why there's an al qaeda network there today. i think we have to be very concerned about this. there's been a lot of attention paid to libya in the last few days. i don't think nearly is enough to be paid to yemen. >> nbc terrorism analyst, thanks for joining us today on "hardball." up next, troubling news out of japan. where that damaged reactor core may have been breached. it could mean much larger amounts of radiation are leaking out. we're going to get the latest on that crisis when we return. you'rein"hdball" on.
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like many chefs today, i feel the best approach to food is to keep it whole for better nutrition. and that's what they do with great grains cereal. see the seam on the wheat grain? same as on the flake. because great grains steams and bakes the actual whole grain. now check out the other guy's flake. hello, no seam. because it's more processed. now, which do you suppose has better nutrition for you? mmm. great grains. the whole whole grain cereal.
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welcome back to "hardball." let's go to another continent. the radiation leak in japan's crippled nuclear reactor could signal that the reactor core has been breached. although it's unclear where the radiation is leaking from. another setback today. also today, the japanese government said people living up to 19 miles from the reactor site should consider a voluntary evacuation. earlier they had suggested people in that zone just stay indoors. how bad is it? james acton is the associate with the nuclear program at the
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ka carnegie endowment for international peace and joins us now. james, let me start with the evacuation notice. it's still voluntary. is the japanese government making a mistake by making it voluntary? why say you probably should go but not make it mandatory? >> i think one thing to understand about the position the japanese government is, there's already 500,000 displaced people in japan. they've been hit by a massive earthquake. they' eve been hit by a massive tsunami. and there are real costs to evacuating more people, costs to those people. if you're an evacuee from that region, you're going to be going to inadequate sanitation, food, and water. so the japanese government because it's been hit by this triple catastrophe. >> so you're saying this would be mandatory if -- well -- >> i'm saying they have to absolutely factor in the fact that they already have 500,000 people who are displaced. i don't know whether the zone should be 20 miles, 25 miles, or 50 miles. what i'm saying is the terrible state that japan has been hit
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after this triple whammy has to feature in their calculations. >> this new radiation. at this point, we already know about the workers at this point are incredibly ill. does this mean all work stops again? if this radiation leak happened, there's nothing that could be done while they're trying to get this reactor back under control? >> well, based on the latest information that i have, the radiation levels on the site as a whole are not increasing right now. which is actually very good news. there is locally very high levels of radiations in the basement of the turbine hull of reactor three. >> the one where they think it's leaking out. >> yes,which is the place where the workers stumbled into the highly radioactive water. >> right. >> and i've also heard it reported but haven't had it confirmed that there is similarly high radioactive water in the basement of the turbine hulls of units one and two. now, work in those areas is cleat clearly going to be massively hampered.
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but if radiation levels as a whole don't rise, then work across the site can continue. >> if you can't do any work in these -- if this is what the information we're getting and work basically gets hampered or halted completely, what does that mean for the likelihood we could end up with a full meltdown? >> it's not entirely clear to me exactly whether the reason they were laying power lines into the basement of the turbine hulls was for a crucial cooling systems. and, you know, just details of the plant schematics you would need to answer that question are not available at this moment. i don't think they would be laying these cables if they didn't consider it highly important to do so. >> and at what point do we think they can get this under control if they can get back to work? are we weeks away? are we months away? >> potentially.
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the answer is, you know, this was a news story that was dying over the last few days, but the almost unanimous consent of the expert community was we weren't out of the woods yet. this is still a volale situation. it's still a dangerous situation, still a situation that could change on a day-by-day basis. there's no obvious time frame for ending this. this is a crisis that could drag on for weeks longer. it could be over in days, it could drag on for weeks, it could go on for a month or two. >> all right, james acton, thanks very much. we look forward to unfortunately seeing you on our programs all over the place. you've been very helpful. thanks very much. up next, another feud for sarah palin. ready for this one? it's with bill maher. that's ahead on "the side show."
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hello, everyone. i'm lynn berry. here's what's happening. we're following a developing situation in athens, georgia, where jamie hood is suspected of shooting two police officers earlier this week, one of them fatality and is now holed up in a home with as many as nine hostages. elsewhere, president obama will address the nation monday night about the crisis in libya. this after discussing the situation with congressional leaders on a conference call earlier this week. well, a law stripping public employees of collective bargaining rights could go into effect in wisconsin as early as next week. a legislative group defied a judge's order and published the law, allowing it to go into effect. the faa is now ordering new procedures of air traffic controllers in hopes of preventing a repeat in this incident in which two airliners landed while the lone controller on duty was asleep. and finally, lindsay lohan is reportedly dropping her last name altogether in aed by to distance herself from her dad who was arrested on domestic violence charges on tuesday. now back to "hardball."
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well, the news has been heavy, let's do a little light stuff back here at "hardball." time for "the side show." first up, michele bachmann deja vu. remember her much talked about state of the union response. the one where she seemed to be looking at the wrong camera the whole time. oh, did i just do the same thing, too? yesterday amid all the 2012 buzz, bauchmann hosted a town hall on facebook. well, it wasn't quite presidential campaign material. a oour facebook fans are participating today. i apologize for the noise in the background. we're live in des moines. that's water fall noise you're hearing in the back group.
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>> i don't see a waterfall, i saw a sneeze guard in the background. waterfall noise is a term for audio trouble. we've not used that one before, maybe we will. next up, here's a good one. there she goes again sarah palin took on david letterman over his joke about her teenage daughter. well, her latest target, "realtime" host bill maher. he called her something we can't repeat on television. the governor fought back on facebook yesterday. "i've been inundated with requests to respond to petty comments made in the media in the past few days, including one little fella's comment which decent people would find degrading. i won't bother responding to it because it was made by he who reminds me of an annoying little mosquito found zipped up in your tent. he can't do any harm but buzzes around annoyingly until it's time to give him the proverbial slap. huh. but she did respond to this annoying little mosquito. we're going to ask maher to respond here on "hardball" next tuesday. bill maher's show tonight should be an interesting little new rule that he may come up with. finally, the name game, the
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white house has painstakingly avoided the word war to describe libya. just check out this dance from executive deputy adviser ben rhodes when pressed on this point on war. "i think what we are doing is enforcing a resolution that has a very clear set of goals, which is protecting the libyan people, averting a humanitarian crisis, setting up a no-fly zone. and that involved kinetic military action on the front end. kinetic military action. believe it or not, the term may be catching on? what's the new hands-free x box? it's kinect. the "new york times" came out with its list of the most followed personalities on twitter. where does our president, freedom leader of the free world come in? number four, behind britney spears, bieber, and lady gaga. the number four most followed
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twitter account. tonight's not so big number, i'll take some more twitter followers too. @chucktodd. i'm just saying. new census data shows 1 in 6 americans are of hispanic descent. how does this demographic shift change the landscape of this country? we're going to get into that. this is "hardball" only on msnbc. we put almost three million americans to work... ...adding nearly 400 billion dollars to the economy. generated over two and a half million kilowatts of electricity... ...enough energy to power a quarter of america. we gave your kids a cleaner ride to school. kept the lights on during a calm day at the wind farm. heated 57 million u.s. homes. simmered grandma's chicken noodle soup. melted tons of recycled glass. roasted millions of coffee beans. provided electricity for nearly 29 million home computers.
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hpshe lhe cpapanies like the she smallestt ofof th ththat lets yos your employeloy,
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pa and custcustomersvate and sharee so you can can unleash tsh the of your mor your peopleople. well, we are back. new census numbers show enormous growth in the u.s. hispanic population in the last ten years. this is not shocking. more than 50 million hispanics in total. the population grew 43% since 2000. there are 1 million or more hispanics now in eight states. and there are now 14 million in california alone. the other seven states with a million or more hispanics, texas, florida, new york, illinois, new jersey, and, of course, arizona and colorado. two potential spring states. what does this mean for
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republicans and democrats? where will it matter most going into the 2012 elections? rubin is with the san diego union tribune. and you're in california, 14 million hispanics, you're the republican party today. the chairman of the republican party, you've been watching these demographic numbers, i mentioned those eight states. i didn't start talking about what's going on in the deep south, which is a whole other story. how bad is it -- could this be for republicans if they're continued to be seen negatively by hispanics overall? >> chuck, let me just note one thing, i'm with "the washington post" writers group. and from my perch there, i see things playing out very significantly, bad news for republicans across the board. in all the states you mentioned and other states because they're perceived as being
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anti-hispanic. while it's bad news for republicans, also sort of bad news for democrats because the support for democrats and barack obama among hispanics is like a mile wide and an inch deep if they shrug and stay home, that's bad news for republicans. that's why you see the president trying so hard to energize that base because he's very weak on that bench. >> who is the leading hispanic in the obama white house? >> the leading -- let me think about that. >> i know. i know. that's the point. >> that's one of the points -- it's one of the points, chuck, also the fact that they keep going around the country bragging about how many they deport. it's a bad look all the way around. >> one of the more fascinating statistics of the 2008 campaign is that if no hispanics had voted in the state of north carolina, john mccain would've carried north carolina. because of the hispanic vote, it is why obama carried north
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carolina. that is one of the eight states we talked about. there is a new south, if you will, virginia, north carolina, georgia. we think with the deep south, we think florida and texas. this is a big story. >> yeah, i've got to tell you. this is a real problem for republicans. let's look backwards a little bit. in 2000, george bush really made inroads with hispanics and didn't win -- >> out of necessity and also comfort. as governor with a basically majority -- almost a majority of hispanics -- >> of course, didn't win hispanics, but made enough inroads he was able to win because of support among hispanics. the opposite was true, then. but since then, republicans have all but creed -- ceded hispanics to the democrats. there isn't a huge effort to win what obviously is going to be -- not just the largest minority
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group now, but it's growing and growing and growing and growing. they're political players, power houses. the republicans have to figure out a way to bring some of them into their fold. whether that means, you know, putting a marco rubio or susanna martinez on the ticket in 2012, i mean, those are real possibilities. they've got to do something to stop this trend. >> ruben, if you're mitt romney and don't put one of those three republicans on the ticket, aren't you almost guaranteeing that you've made your path to 270 so narrow that you have no margin for error? >> i think that's absolutely right. and think of it another way. in order for a republican to do well with hispanics, they've got to get 35% of the hispanic vote or north of that. bush got 45%, four years later, 44%. but if mitt romney or whoever the nominee is, if they don't get at least 35%, it's game over. they've got to have a nice, decent showing in there. the way to do that if i were talking to mitt romney, you can
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have a nice, strong support of borders and security and immigration policy, law and order's a good thing, that's great. but really take out that anti-hispanic component that's so incredibly repellant that's turned off conservative republicans, even hispanic republicans can't get excited about the republican party these days. >> good point about the obama administration. we've been talking about this as republicans. but they have struggled reaching out to hispanics in a way that there is -- i've had some hispanic democrats say to me, i don't even know who i'm supposed to pick up the phone to. nobody contacts me. and as he brought up, they're not going to go to the republicans. >> this is a fickle group. and it's changing. and so i think nobody really knows exactly how to harness the hispanic vote, court them, reject them, and keep them in their fold. what hispanics are proving is they're fickle, and thr opinions are changing. i don't think you can any more say that all hispanics feel this way or stereotype and such given the explicit growth of their children.
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you know, first generation hispanics, who have grown up and were born and raised here, different opinions. >> that's very important -- >> not just fickle, a question of really steep learning curve. neither one of these parties know how to reach out, there ar parties. the fact that neither party knows how to reach out to hispanics. people know how to do it, but they are not included in the mix. >> thank you both on this topic. we will be talking about this a lot. coming up, michele bachmann, sarah palin, donald trump. what if they suck up all the oxygen to the point the other republican contenders can't break through? "the new york times" columnist david brooks will be here to talk about that. his perspective will be fascinating. you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc. [ male announcer ] unrestrained. unexpected. and unlike any hybrid you have ever known. ♪
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> we are ba. the republican presidential field for 2012 is slowly taking shape. several of them are going to be in iowa for another of these cattle calls. the senior republican, chuck grassley, said this. there's only two or three of them that are qualified to be president. a heck of a lot more than a run. is it bad for republicans that people like michele bachmann, sarah palin, donald trump are going to suck up all the oxygen out of the room? "the new york times" columnist david brooks, author of the new book "the social animal". i saw the hidden charks of love
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and achievement, we could easily use that to find the mind games some candidates are playing. start with that. bachmann, trump, palin, they are the cable cat nip. what do do you if romney and pawlenty dealing with that? >> try to stay ahead of that circus. i think it will be easy actually. you have to distinguish between the conservative media industry and the people actually running for office. there's been very little evidence in past elections that one has really affected the other. for example, rush limbaugh and others spent two years attacking john mccain. yet he still won the south carolina republican primary, florida republican primary. one republican consultant said rush limbaugh can't deliver a pizza. they like to listen to him, but won't vote for him. >> this idea you can run for
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president as a money-making venture takes the andy warhol aspect, somebody gets a 15 minutes, where john bolton is thinking of running for president, and is he thinking about running for president or thinking about getting a better tv contract or better book deal? mike huckabee became a multimillionaire after running for president. >> we have to start punishing people that run for no reason. i don't know how we can do that, exile them to a desert island for a year. that's the thing, it is a no lose situation. some people their reputation gets hurt, maybe alan keyes, but he was on the self destruct path anyway. most it is good for business. somehow people organize the debates. maybe those in the media have to just pay more attention to people that are plausible. i agree with grassley, it is down to two, three, maybe three and a half. >> you say that and a half, i assume that's mitch daniels you've been wanting to see him
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get in. showing more evidence that he is going to run? >> my heart still beats. i think for the republicans, he is a good, not the most sexy guy in the world. he is a good manager. i am insanely impressed by the fact he took department of motor vehicles wait times from an hour to seven minutes. i think the country would like a leader that can do that sort of thing. my half is haley barbour. i think he runs, not sure he is plausible. my joke, it is unfair, he is the kind of guy michael moore would cast as the republican nominee. so i think he has been a very good governor, but for background reasons, i am not sure he is a plausible, despite his personal talents. >> funny you say that, i have visions of phil graham, all the smart people in the world, the smart money. anth stp speech, failed in the first, second, third grade. let's go to your book "the
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social animal." you've done a lot of writing how the brain works, how it makes us do certain things, make certain choices. apply it to ideology. >> all the choices, whether you fall in love, select a candidate, some is conscious, some is unconscious. some research at princeton, they gave pima one second look at candidates in races far from where they lived. they said you're looking at these people for one second. who do you think is more confident. those people could predict with 70% accuracy who was going to wint election. we make snap judgments about them. >> did they pick competent people? >> yeah. this is the thing, americans aren't really knowledgeable about a lot of facts often in government. they think foreign aid takes up 25% of the budget. but what do we do every day? we check the competence of dentists, plumber, the teacher. we are reasonably good at looking at people, making evaluations. is this person like me, do i trust this. those evaluations are mostly
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unconscious, just a feeling of how i feel good. what the scientists are doing is looking, figuring out how does it all happen, and the book is an ex-mri indication of all that. >> do you think it is better, even though we make short judgments, is it better if the season is short or long as far as trying to decide who the republican nominee is. >> it is better if it is long for all of us. we make women judgments, but one of the ways we educate the emotional reaction to people is over time. people that have studied something, there are soldiers in iraq can look down a street after having served there a year and can tell there's a landmine on the street. they don't know how they can tell, they just feel a coldness inside. that doesn't happen overnight, it happens over the long haul. i think the more you look at a candidate over a long series of primaries, the more we educate ourselves consciously and

Hardball With Chris Matthews
MSNBC March 25, 2011 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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